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lunababymoonchild

Winter Solstice

The Winter Solstice is on the 21 December this year.

Winter Solstice, just in case anyone isn't that familiar, is when the Sun is at its furthest from the celestial equator.  Which means that the sun appears at it's lowest arc (because the earth is tilting on it's axis and leaning farthest away from the sun. Unless you are in the Southern Hemisphere (antipodes), where it's different).  This means that, for us,  21 December will be the shortest day and from then on, the days will get longer.

For anybody who suffers from Seasonally Adjusted Disorder, or like me, is done with the dark mornings and dark evenings and general darkness overall, this information is good news.

Now, if it would only stop raining .................

Luna
priscilla-of-padua

At the risk of promoting a rush of posts on the subject, Luna, the winter solistice is thought by many to have been a very important and relevant time for the northern ancients. Probably it meant a time of invocation for the return of the sun as the days shortened - and that unless certain rituals were not observed it would not happen.

Many stone circles have a winter solstice alination. It may also have been a more joyous time because it heralded another summer; the summer one heralds the onset of another winter.

Any excuse for a party in the dark times, anyway - nothing changes

Regards, P. Not very sparing reply. Should I feel guilty - nah!
Thursday Next

Does this mean that I should avoid going past Stonehenge when I go down to visit my parents for Christmas, or do people only congregate there when it is warm for the Summer Solstice? Wink
priscilla-of-padua

Probably safer than getting caught in the double 'nots' of my posting.

I've never heard of anyone going to observe the sunset rites there - or any where else come to that - unless you count every party and excessive use of lights at this time of year. I kave long wondered if ancient memory lingers long in our gene pool.

I had an aunt who loved to repair things - and did so ably, watches, lighters, all manner of gadgets woere taken to her.She had no training of this kind. Later it was discovered that her errant father had been an instrument maker with Marconi in the early days of radio.

Have a safe jorney which ever route you take.

P.
lunababymoonchild

It's no coincidence that the major religions have a winter festival around this time, and it doesn't surprise me in the slightest.

I'm rather looking forward to it getting lighterm whatever the reason but I'm not that fussed about it getting warmer (although I can do without the amount of rain we've had here, this week).

Safe journey Thursday, I would like to see Stonehenge someday, even just to drive past it.

Luna
Not_Smart_Just_Lucky

There's a Neolithic site in Ireland called Newgrange. It's a giant Stone Age tomb, with an opening above the entrance. As the sun rises on the winter solstice, the light enters the opening and shines all the way down the passageway of the tomb. More evidence of the importance of the sun in pagan times.

Newgrange is a very impressive monument. It's worth a visit, even if it's just a virtual visit on Wikipedia
county_lady

Tomorrow you will be able to visit Newgrange on line as shown on this NASA site.

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/
lunababymoonchild

Newgrange is something - somewhere? - I want to visit.  

Thanks for the link, County_Lady

Luna
miranda

lunababymoonchild wrote:

Safe journey Thursday, I would like to see Stonehenge someday, even just to drive past it.

Luna


Don't bother.  It's so caged in and restricted, and expensive, it's not worth it.  Go to Avebury instead.  Much better.  The stones are just there and you can touch them and walk around them and just be with them.  And it's free!
lunababymoonchild

miranda wrote:
Don't bother.  It's so caged in and restricted, and expensive, it's not worth it.  Go to Avebury instead.  Much better.  The stones are just there and you can touch them and walk around them and just be with them.  And it's free!


Oh what a shame, Stonehenge looks so good on the TV!  Avebury it is, then.

Luna
Not_Smart_Just_Lucky

lunababymoonchild wrote:
Newgrange is something - somewhere? - I want to visit.  


It's in Meath, about an hour outside of Dublin. Avebury will probably be easier to get to though
lunababymoonchild

Not_Smart_Just_Lucky wrote:
lunababymoonchild wrote:
Newgrange is something - somewhere? - I want to visit.  


It's in Meath, about an hour outside of Dublin. Avebury will probably be easier to get to though


Always wanted to see a bit of Ireland and never got round to it - the usual.   The people I've spoken to who have made the effort invariably tell me that it's beautiful and urge me to visit.  Never heard a bad word about it, even during the troubles.  

I might actually work up the energy to do both next year, and astonish myself.

Luna
Not_Smart_Just_Lucky

If you do ever decide to go, let me know. I'll point you to a couple of must-see spots.
lunababymoonchild

Will do Laughing.

Luna
golarne

Hooray.. midwinter! I suppose all this must mean that I am some sort of mystic opposite-of-a-druid, since I always celebrate the 21st Dec rather than Midsummer. Mind you, that's mainly because it's my birthday! Erf!
Not_Smart_Just_Lucky

Happy Birthday Golarne, and I hope you fit as much as possible into the shortest day of the year
Joe Mac

Midday here on the shortest day of the year, and the sun is brilliant, about 10 degrees above the southern horizon. It was all of minus 35 C this morning, now inching upwards for a high of -29 or so.
It's just another winter day to me, but my wife is happy because it means the days get longer from now on. But the coldest days may still lie ahead.
lunababymoonchild

I don't mind cold but I'm a lot more settled - for some reason - that it will now get lighter.

Luna
Caro

Of course, in some parts of the world it is the summer solstice.  Not that where I live way down south in NZ you would notice.  Dull and cloudy and quite cool at times.  But where I live summer tends to start in February (and finish in mid-Feb!).  We do have nice autumns usually.

Christmas in the middle of 'summer', of course.  

Cheers, Caro.
lunababymoonchild

Yes, indeed, Caro.

I've just clicked the link that County_Lady provided and it was too cloudy to see this year's Soltice so they showed a bit of the recorded 2007 Solstice.  It looked kinda dark from inside!   With all these peopel milling about I don't suppose that they let anybody into the site to see the sun ocming up do they?

Luna
Not_Smart_Just_Lucky

There's a draw done every year and 100 people are let in over 5 days, so 20 people would have been let in to the chamber today

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